Graphics Window

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Navigation: User Guide ➔ Windows ➔ Graphics Window

Application Window Message Window Graphics Window Access Window Explorer Window Trend Window Controls Window TagList Window Project Window

Latest SysCAD Version: 31 May 2024 - SysCAD 9.3 Build 139.35544

Related Links: Graphics, Graphics Commands, ETip: Graphics Window Drawing Grids


A SysCAD project is built using Graphics Windows. A project may contain any number of Graphics Windows and each Graphics Window can represent a process flow diagram, and is saved with the extension scg.

The user may navigate around the Graphics windows using the Explorer Window. This window lists all of the Graphics windows in a project in alphabetical order. Therefore, it is a good idea to name the graphics windows in such a way that the start of the process is displayed first, with the other flowsheets in logical order. For example:

  • 01 Crushing and Screening
  • 02 Milling and Cycloning
  • 03 Leaching
  • 04 Counter Current Washing Circuit, etc.

In addition, user may group Graphics Windows together in Areas. This allows the user to easily activate and deactivate areas of the project and in the Explorer Window the user may expand and collapse the areas, making it easier to navigate around large projects that have many flowsheets.

Flowsheets are built either by drawing with the SysCAD drawing tool or imported from a DXF drawing. When drawing with the SysCAD drawing tool, the unit operations are inserted into the Graphics Window using the Insert Unit command. Links are used to join the units together via the Insert Link command. When a unit or link is inserted, the unit's mathematical model is added to the solver network, and a graphical representation of the unit is inserted on the Graphics Window. See Graphics Commands for the various drawing commands.

When importing from a DXF drawing, the unit operations are constructed using the Construct Unit and Construct Link commands. When a unit / link is constructed, the unit's mathematical model is attached to some selected graphics from the DXF drawing.

The unit model's mathematical model and its graphics are linked by a tag name:

  • A tag name cannot contain spaces and other illegal characters - the tag naming convention options can be found at Project Settings - Graphics and Tags.
  • You can locate the unit on a Graphics Window using the Find Tag command. The Access Window for the selected unit can also be opened.
  • You can change the tag name at anytime, (see Change Tag).

Open a New Graphics Window

To open a new Graphics window, use one of the following commands:

  • If the 'Graphics' menu is active (click on any Graphics window), click on Graphics - New Graphics Window.
  • Right click on 'Graphics' in the Explorer Window (if this is not already open, click on View - Explorer) and select 'New Graphics Window'.
  • With a project open, use one of the following commands:
New Document139.png

Each of these methods will open a new Graphics Window 'xx_Flowsheet.scg.'


  1. This command is only available if a SysCAD project is open.
  2. This command is not available if SysCAD is solving or running.
  3. In Build 139 and later, when the project is saved, the Graphics windows will be saved to the \DocsGraphics folder.

Close Graphics Window

To close a graphics window the user must use the Graphics menu. Please see Delete/Close Active Graphic in SysCAD.

Note: Closing a graphics window is normally equivalent to deleting it from the project.

Graphics Window Size

The user may change the size of the Graphics window at any stage by positioning the mouse pointer over the corner, or any edge, of the Graphics window, when the pointer changes to a double-headed white arrow (see diagram below). The user then holds down the left mouse button and may drag the corner, or edge, to increase or decrease the window size.

Graphics Window 2a.png

We do NOT recommend maximising the Graphics Window, as if you do this, it is not easy to move between windows. When the window is not maximised, you may move between Graphics windows, the Access window, Trend windows, etc., by simply clicking on the required window.

In the diagram above, the user may access any unit and the Access window will be displayed next to the graphics window. To access another unit, the user merely right clicks on the desired unit.

If the Graphics window was maximised, the user would right click on a unit and the access window of that unit would also be maximised and therefore to get back to the Graphics window the user would have to click on the 'Cancel' button.

Graphics Grids

  • The Graphics Drawing Grids can be displayed on the Graphics Window. User can select:
Lines (Default) Ruler Dots
Lines.png Ruler.png Dots.png
  • The Grid Size and display options can be set in the Tools - General Option - Graphics Tab
Big Grid.png
  1. User can select when the grid is displayed, see General Options - Graphics
  2. User can manually toggle the Grid display on/off by pressing Ctrl+G when on the Graphics Window.
  3. User can define the Big Grid Size. This is the size of each grid, in millimeters.
  4. The Major Grid is 10x10 of Big Grids.
  5. The small Grid is for Insert links and moving objects. They are not show on the Grid display.
  6. The big Grid Count is displayed on the Graphics Window Status bar, it updates with the mouse pointer position.
  7. When the drawing area is zoomed out sufficiently, only the Major Grid lines are shown.
  8. A maximum of 200x200 Big Grid elements are shown. If your drawing covers more than this, then you can change the Big Grid value.
  9. The default Big Grid value is 5mm which allows a grid display over a 1m x 1m area (so fully covering an A1 sheet - 841 x 594 mm).

Graphics Window Background Colours

  • The available Graphics Window Background Colour are:
  1. Black
  2. Grey
  3. Light Grey
  4. Off White
  5. White
  • User can make the colour scheme selection via:
  1. Menu Command: Graphics | Colour Scheme OR
  2. Explore Window: Right Click on the Graphics(x) (First Entry) and select Colour Scheme OR
  3. Menu Command: Tools | General Options | Colours Tab | Scheme
  • The background colour selection is global and user based, once the selection is made, it will apply to all projects.

Graphics Symbols Displaying Colours

Please see General Options Colours

Mouse Click on Graphics Symbols

See General Options Mouse for more information.

Pop-up Access Menu on Graphics Window

If you right click on the Graphics Window Background, the nearest unit to the click will turn magenta, and various options will appear in a pop up Access Menu, as shown below. The options available will depend on the nearest unit type (in the example below this is a Pump). This list will also be present if you right click on a unit while pressing the Control key.

  • Access Unit Tag - This will open the Access Window for the unit.

  • Various quick configuration options for some unit types - This section of the pop up window will only be displayed for certain unit types, such as Pumps or Valves, or pipes in dynamic mode. The quick configuration options will depend on the unit - the Pump options are described here:
  • Start - this will start the pump if it is stopped.
  • Stop - this stops the pump if it is running.
  • Speed (%) - this will open the following window, which will allow the user to change the pump speed:
  • Note: Some of these options will only show their effects in Dynamic modes.
Access Menu Pump.png
  • Change Tag... - You may change the selected unit's Tag name.
  • Data transfer... - This opens the Data Transfer dialog box for the nearest unit operation.

  • Global Reset/Reset All: A Reset will do a complete Reset of this model only. Options available for Probal (Steady State) mode and dynamic mode.
  • Reset Actions: Dynamic Only (Process, Control, Statistics, Events/Profiles, Empty, Preset) Please see Action Commands in the Plant Model for descriptions of these functions.
  • Global Remove Qualities/Remove Qualities: This option is used to remove any Qualities inherited in the model. Useful for cleaning up unwanted buildup values. Options available for Probal (Steady State) mode and dynamic mode.
  • Content to Preset: Only available for some unit types such as tanks. Transfers the current content to the Preset image. This preset image will be used when Preset action is selected.

  • View: (order of options may differ between builds)
GraphicsRightClick93 View.png

  • Copy: Activates the Copy Graphics command
  • Paste: Activates the Paste Graphics command. Note, clipboard must not be empty, ie, Copy should be used first.
  • Copy Bitmap: Activates the Copy bitmap command. Copies the graphics window contents as a bitmap to the clipboard.

The following fields are only included in the very latest version of Build 139:

  • Redraw: This command refreshes the drawing on the Graphics Window.
  • Zoom All: This command fits the full drawing on the Graphics Window.
  • Group Operations: This command will open the Graphics Flowsheet Group Operations dialog box.
  • Options: This command will open the General Options dialog box. The tab displayed will be one that relates to Graphics such as Graphics/Drawing/Colours/Mouse.

  • Show Local Network: (Available in Build 139 or later). Dynamic projects only.

Unit Pop-up Access Window

If you hold down the Shift key and left click (Shift + Left click) on a unit in the Graphics Window, and various options will appear in a pop up Unit Access Menu, as shown below. The options available will depend on the Solver mode and the unit type - in the example below this ProBal and a tank.

Access Menu Unit2.png
  • Access Unit Tag - This will open the Access Window for the unit.
  • Access Alt Unit Tag - This will open the Access Window for the unit as the 2nd Access Window, or the alternate Access Window.
  • Change Tag... - You may change the selected unit's Tag name.
  • Data transfer... - This opens the Data Transfer dialog box for the nearest unit operation.
  • Associated Graphics - This command produces a dialog box which allows the user to show or hide direct links graphics. This is described below.
  • Reset Unit - This command relates to setting the status of the selected unit. Please see Action Commands in the Plant Model for descriptions of these functions.
  • Copy Audit to Clipboard - this allows the user to copy the mass and energy flows into and out of the unit to the clipboard. This may then be copied into Excel for analysis.

Associated Graphics

Associated Graphics.png

This dialog box allows the user to show or hide direct links graphics.

  • The selections on the left will apply to ALL models of the selected type, in this case all units of type Tie-1.
  • The selections on the right will apply to just this particular unit, in this case the Autoclave2.

The options are available are:

  1. Hide: the graphics will always be hidden.
  2. Show: the graphics will always be shown.
  3. In Use: the graphics will be shown if there is any flow through it and hidden when there is no flow through it.
  4. Ever Used: the graphics will be shown if there ever was any flow through it.
  5. <default>: only available for individual units. This means the rules for the graphics for the individual model will follow the rules for the unit type.

Note: Makeup and Discard links will always be shown and there are no other options.